‘Exercise to keep blood pressure in check’

Kathmandu, December 17

Cases of hypertension have increased in the country. Sedentary lifestyle, intake of junk food, lack of exercise and obesity are the causes of increasing cases of hypertension.

According to doctors, 20 among 50 patients visiting hospitals are found suffering from hypertension.

“The number of hypertensive patients has increased from 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the last 10 years. Most of the patients are above the age of 18 years,” said Dr Deewakar Sharma, head of Department of Cardiology, Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre.

Earlier, hypertensive patients were mostly above the age of 40 years. However, high blood pressure is also common among young adults with sedentary lifestyle these days.

Dr Sharma said males were more at risk of suffering from hypertension due to genetic factors, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food habits and stress.

“Seventy per cent of heart attack patients visiting Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre are male. However, the number of female patients is also increasing in urban areas,” added the doctor.

Unmanaged hypertension can lead to severe complications and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and eye problems. Consuming low-fat food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep blood pressure in check.

“One should go for a regular check-up and exercise regularly to avoid the risks posed by high blood pressure levels,” added Dr Sharma.

According to Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016, 17 per cent females and 23 per cent males above the age of 15 years suffer from hypertension.

Hypertension is more prevalent in Province 4 (24 per cent among females and 31 per cent among males ) than in other provinces.

Rates of hypertension are higher among tobacco users (16 per cent female and 20 per cent male) than among those who do not consume tobacco (10 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men).

Rates of hypertension are about twice the national average among obese women (38 per cent) and men (54 per cent).

Medical guidelines define hypertension as blood pressure higher than 130 over 80 millimetres of Mercury (mm-Hg), according to guidelines issued by American Heart Association in November 2017. Earlier, blood pressure higher than 140 was considered high blood pressure.